NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – Thomas J. McGrath, of New Paltz, died Wednesday, June 15 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie of congestive heart failure. He was 80.
He was born Feb. 1, 1936, in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of the late Michael and Amelia (Schneider) McGrath. After he earned his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University in Wisconsin, he received a scholarship for graduate studies at Boston College via WGBH TV. While serving in the U.S. Army, he and his crew created daily news programs for the troops at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He and his wife moved to New York for his career as a producer of television commercials. While he worked at several advertising agencies, they raised their family in Armonk. As a producer, he traveled extensively throughout the U.S. He was recognized and his work was awarded several times by the advertising industry.
He and his wife traveled extensively throughout Europe and Latin America. He loved photography. He began experimenting with printed imagery as early as the 1960s. When he retired from advertising, he finally had the opportunity to devote himself full time to his art. He moved to New Paltz after his wife died. He continued creating his art through photography and the manipulation of his photographs until his death.
He is survived by one son, Chris McGrath, of Los Angeles; two daughters, Kerry Enloe and her husband, Jim, of Asheville, North Carolina, and Jennifer Yess and her husband, Russell, of New Paltz; two grandsons, Liam and Shane Yess of New Paltz; one sister, Joan Jashinsky and her husband, Harry, of Rosholt, Wisconsin; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara “Bobbi” (Siettmann) McGrath on March 9, 2004.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at Copeland Funeral Home, Inc., 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, followed by funeral services at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. A graveside service and burial will take place Thursday at 11 a.m. at Oakwood Cemetery, 304 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco.
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